Friday, June 30, 2017

Featured autograph - Blake Parker

This signed 2010 Topps Chicago Cubs Franchise History subset card [#511] probably doesn't mean much - but I remember getting it signed by Parker in his first full season in the big leagues in 2013.

After bouncing around the waiver wire in 2016, Parker was picked up by the Angels and has pitched out of the Halos bullpen this season - so improbably, the random autograph card ends up being an add to my Angels all-time autograph collection.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

My cardboard of doom - organizing inserts

Presumably my collecting life will be over at some point - so what would someone make of the remains of what animated me?

Would the snapshot be of someone who managed to have some cool stuff and knew what he was collecting or would the picture be less flattering - where I built upon scattered interests that have left my collections incomplete, unfinished and abandoned?

I may have good intentions, I may have a plan but maybe the focus isn’t there - things fall kind of flat and I end up feeling like a hoarder at times, which maybe the truth.

At the most basic level, I want to be able to go through the cards I've collected and feel like I'm not such a hoarder at times - as is, one of the things that bug me are the countless inserts I've pulled over the past five or six years.

I don't really think I bust enough of anything to have all sorts of inserts - but I may have assorted cards 'all over the place,' maybe squirreled away to give them the most minimal of protection, but otherwise loose.

Which ones I do list out in their own A-Z archive of sorts to be jammed away in a box and which ones can I just add to my 'binder collection' of decade stars - I think the most common inserts associated with a particular decade star can be stored with the players' other cards because it's not like I'm going to need some random, cheapo insert.

Anything that ends up falling under 'misc' where it's kind of a more notable card nicer than a common insert and/or base card - can be listed in a Google Sheets file and put away.

I guess the biggest benefit of having a list and also keeping up with the physical collection is for trade purposes, which I don't really do because the hobby is really self-absorbed for me - still, in order to feel a little bit more organized, to be a 'pro' if you will, I'd like to harp on accounting for inserts coming into my hands.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

TTM autographs received: Gary Pettis

The former Angels outfielder signed my cards in black Sharpie in about three weeks c/o Houston Astros - where he is the third base coach.

Pettis as an all-world center fielder and while he didn't hit much - he got on base at a decent enough clip, was a speedster and in his prime, no one matched his prowess as a defender.

Like Devon Whyte, I saw at least one TTM success posted on Instagram this year and figured I might as well send off a letter to see - if I could get ink on four of my random junk wax era cards.

Pettis was a long time coach with the Texas Rangers, where I probably got his autograph in-person at least a couple of times - he wasn't really a tough guy to get, but it still felt like a chore to actually try and get him

He just didn't care for signing and didn't pay much attention to signing his autograph - when he did sign, the autograph on your item might be upside down, sideways, over his face, but never upright and neat.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

2017 Panini Stars & Stripes USA Baseball Longevity box

From what I roughly assume, these were the retail version of the 2017 Panini USA Stars & Stripe product - I picked up a box online for about half of what the hobby versions are going for.

I think these boxes still go for about $50 at Targets, though that doesn't really say much if the boxes haven't flown off the shelves - however, I might as well try one to see if I could pull some USA autographs and/or relics.

Pack one
#55 Cade Doughty - apparently all the base cards have the foil board, 'Longevity' finish.
#57 Nick Gorby

#13 Zach Martinez - certified autograph serial #'d 008/199 ; there is some ink smudging on the back, someone must have stacked these cards quickly after applying the clear hologram sticker.
#32 Quentin Holmes - Ruby parallel serial #'d 176/249
#84 Chris Okey

Pack two

#100 Roger Clemens
#92 Zach Jackson
#68 Bobby Dalbec - Ruby parallel serial #'d 202/249

#56 Ethan Long - quad jersey serial #'d 094/199
#93 Mark McGwire

Pack three
#12 Devin Hairston
#54 Josiah Dickson - Ruby parallel serial #'d 071/249

#15 Isaiah Thomas - certified autograph serial #'d 244/399
#85 Logan Shore

#5 Seth Beer

Pack four
#58 Tony Jacobs
#21 Mike Rivera

#99 Barry Larkin - Emerald parallel serial #'d 4/5

#5 Shane Baz / Brendan McKay / Alex Lange / David Peterson - quad jersey serial #'d 079/199; it's nice having four guys who ended up being first round picks on one card.

#14 Keston Hiura

Pack five
60 Ethan Long

#11 Dalton Guthrie - Ruby parallel serial #'d 135/249

#16 Logan Ott - certified autograph serial #'d 061/399

#31 Hunter Greene

#23 Ricky Tyler Thomas

Monday, June 26, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 30

"Your favorite card in your collection."

2000 Upper Deck SPX Sandy Koufax #SK - SP Chirography autograph.

Even though it's nearly 20 years old, this certified autograph doesn't really give off the 'classic card' vibe - it's a modern card picturing an old-timer long after his career was finished.

I don't know if I have a special attachment to the card, but I picked up years ago, realizing the legacy of the player pictured - as a legendary Hall of Fame player and franchise icon.

The card is squirreled away and it's sticking around as the centerpiece of my collection- for as long as I'm interested in collecting baseball cards.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Featured autograph - Brendan Rodgers

After hitting .400 for Lancaster in the California League, the 20-year old shortstop - is 1-for-9 in 2 games for the Hartford Yard Goats in the Eastern League.

Rodgers is one of the elite prospects in all of baseball, though according to this BA breakdown - his batting numbers in Lancaster was due to the hitter friendly environment as much as his natural abilities coming together.

I was able to see him just in time before he was promoted - to get this 2016 Topps Heritage Minors insert signed.

Friday, June 23, 2017

TTM autographs received: Devon Whyte

The former Angels outfielder signed my cards in black Sharpie in about three weeks c/o Buffalo Bisons - where he is the hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays AAA team.

I think he has intermittently coached with various MLB organizations over the years, but I haven't gotten the opportunity to actually see him in-person - on Instagram, I saw at least one TTM success posted this year and figured I might as well send off a letter to see if I could get ink on three of my random junk wax era cards.

As a player, I remember Whyte mostly as an all-world center fielder with the Toronto Blue Jays - in his prime, no one matched his prowess as a defender for the two World Series Championship Blue Jays teams in 1992 and 1993.

I really wanted to send him some Blue Jays cards, but he spent the first six years of his big league career with the Angels - looking back at his stats after his fine 1987 rookie season, I saw a star crossed player who bottomed out in 1990 and needed a change of scenery.

I wrote out his last name as 'Whyte' as that is how his last name is actually spelled - even though 'White' is the more common spelling of his last name.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 29

"A favorite card from before 1950, whether you own it or not."

1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner - while this card is only attainable when you own a MLB team or at least be in the same financial level, for any random collector of any era, the narrative behind this card is hard to ignore.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TTM autograph received: Wayne Causey

I don’t remember when I bought his 1967 Topps card, but unfortunately the adhesive on the lip of a team set bag got briefly stuck to the card and caused paper loss - I sent it out just to get some ink on it and it was signed nicely in blue ink in about a week or so.

Go figure, Causey was actually a one-time California Angel, playing in 4 games with the team in 1968 - so I can use the signed card for my Angels all-time autograph collection.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 28

"A favorite relic/manufactured relic card."

2001 Upper Deck SPX Ken Griffey Jr. #KG1 jersey bat relic - when memorabilia cards were still kind of a thing, the concept of having one card featuring pieces from a players' game 'worn' or 'used' material appealed to me.

Besides the really harder to pull super patch cards, with a huge swatch from some patch off a player's jersey - I had the idea these dual relic cards was the next best thing, if couldn't secure the player's certified autograph for one reason or another.

Even if the sentiment towards game-used cards has tailed off due to being too common or with collectors just not being able to trust card companies as far as authenticity of the relics used - dual relic cards still catch my eye depending on the player shown, what types of 'worn' or 'used' materials are used and whether or not the card just looks good.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

2017 Topps Archives blaster recap 2 of 2

Box two
Bonus pack of Baseball Coins 
#C-22 Clayton Kershaw
#C-24 Max Scherzer

Pack one

#65 Stephen Strasburg
#28 Evan Longoria
#14 Marcell Ozuna
#280 Robin Roberts

#219 Jim Bunning

#183 Anthony Rendon
#130 Robinson Cano
#200 Kris Bryant

Pack two
#87 Dellin Betances
#77 Nomar Mazara

#21 Jose Ramirez

#272 Jose Canseco - I took a look at this card and thought the card pictured Ozzie instead of Jose and go figure, this confirmed my suspicion
#249 Tom Glavine

#RS-7 Yulieski Gurriel - Rookie Stars insert

#116 Curt Schilling
#192 Ryne Sandberg

Pack three
#53 Freddie Freeman

#78 Nolan Arenado
#81 Tyler Glasnow
#277 Yoan Moncada
#210 Mookie Betts

#266 Daniel Murphy
#159 Pedro Martinez
#139 Phil Rizzuto

Pack four
#82 Mike Piazza
#32 Juan Gonzalez
#244 Trevor Story
#253 Jean Segura

#283 Adam Eaton

#DJ-11 Derek Jeter - DJ Retrospective insert / 2003 Topps
#191 Sparky Anderson
#147 Jose Bautista

Pack five
#35 Brooks Robinson

#24 Willie McCovey
#56 Eric Hosmer

#217 Kole Calhoun
#235 Chris Sale
#144 Ken Giles
#145 Hisashi Iwakuma
#120 Dexter Fowler

Pack six
#9 Mark Trumbo

#57 Albert Pujols

#250 Bryce Harper

#221 JaCoby Jones
#218 Aaron Boone
#111 Danny Salazar
#121 Marcus Stroman
#150 Jose Quintana

Pack seven
#3 Earl Weaver 
#84 Carson Fulmer
#227 Manny Machado
#237 Joe Musgrove
#255 Reggie Jackson

59B-17 Sandy Koufax - 1959 Bazooka insert
#169 Starlin Castro
#128 Yasiel Puig

Friday, June 16, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge - Day 27

"A favorite oddball card from the 1990 or later."

1996 Denny's Holograms Cal Ripken Jr. #2 - I don't remember if the verbiage was actually used in promotional materials, but I remember something about these cards having '3.5 seconds of game action.'

What I liked about these cards was the fact you can shine them up to a light source and sort of see the player featured doing something - I think most of the previous hologram cards featuring actual players only showed a static image, where you had a 3D effect going, but you couldn't play around with the card like you could with these cards.

I was aware of the Sportflics 3D cards from the 1980s and also when Pinnacle Brands revived the technology for some products in the mid 1990s - these cards are sort of similar to those, but more of a variation of the Sportflics cards 'on steroids.'

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 Topps Archives blaster recap 1 of 2

I jumped at a chance to pick up two of these when I saw these on the shelves at a Target - this isn't a product I anticipate coming out each year, but something I take a look at through a blaster box purchase or maybe through some loose packs at the LCS [if available].

Box one

Bonus pack of Baseball Coins - comes in a nice, cutesy, 'micro mini' plastic wrapper that is worthless the moment I tear into it.

#C-10 Justin Verlander
#C-3 Gary Sanchez

Pack one

#92 Masahiro Tanaka - with the horizontal design and how colors kind of pop, the 1960 style is probably my favorite.
#36 Yu Darvish
#245 Johnny Cueto
#270 Mark Melancon
#247 Matt Harvey

#DJ-18 Derek Jeter - DJ Retrospective insert / 2010 Topps

#200 Kris Bryant
- I kind of liked the original year 1982 cards with the ‘hockey stick’ design and while the facsimile autograph sort of clutters up the front of the cards, it’s an attractive card design [I guess for 1982 in particular as opposed to 2017].
#116 Curt Schilling

Pack two
#64 Noah Syndergaard
#17 Melky Cabrera
#88 Salvador Perez

#205 Trea Turner - 1992 was the year of Topps cards I had most exposure to and I kind of felt the set was a little generic, especially with 792 cards.
#223 Jose Abreu

#192 Ryne Sandberg - it's probably been done before, but I like seeing a 'what if' Sandberg with a 1982 Topps design.
#159 Pedro Martinez
#139 Phil Rizzuto

Pack three
#73 Bobby Doerr

#75 Ty Cobb
#201 Roberto Clemente
#248 Andre Dawson

#49 Brian Dozier - Light Blue parallel serial #'d 37/75
#191 Sparky Anderson

#147 Jose Bautista
#144 Ken Giles

Pack four
#42 David Cone
#39 Rob Segedin
#275 Alex Bregman

#293 Jose Altuve - I feel like all the vertical images used in the original 1992 issue cards made that set feel a little redundant, but the occasional, original cards with horizontal player images stood out with seemingly a little more personality.
#246 Wil Myers

#59B-14 Corey Seager - Bazooka insert
#145 Hisashi Iwakuma
#120 Dexter Fowler

Pack five

#66 Adrian Beltre
#67 Edwin Diaz
#16 Jay Bruce
#256 Ian Desmond

#290 Kevin Gausman - I find myself playing the game of whether or not I’d find the similar type of image used in the original year cards.

I’d say at the ‘meh’ images [only counting active players] found on at least a handful of this year’s 1992 style Archives cards - would probably be faithful to their junk wax era counterparts.

#98 Jake Lamb - Peach parallel serial #'d 105/199
#111 Danny Salazar
#121 Marcus Stroman

Pack six
#19 Russell Martin
#26 Yoenis Cespedes
#100 Corey Seager
#252 Evan Gattis
#206 John Lackey

#Topps RO-3 Yoenis Cespedes - 2016 Retro Originals; I guess this was a retro inspired design thought up for last year; like how there is actually a card back built up as opposed to a ‘run of the mill’ insert.

#150 Jose Quintana
#103 Alex Reyes

Pack seven
#29 Josh Donaldson
#51 Robert Gsellman
#72 Edgar Martinez

#236 Braden Shipley
#269 Reynaldo Lopez
#153 Frank Thomas
#115 Andy Pettitte
#186 Monte Irvin