Tuesday, October 30, 2018

1995 Topps Traded Carlos Beltran RC #18T

This rookie card was on my ‘holes to fill’ list and I randomly decided to finally pick a copy up for my PC - even though Beltran’s rookie card is messed up because it isn't his picture on the card.

The card pictures Juan LeBron, who was the Kansas City Royals' first round pick [19th overall] in 1995, but failed to reach the major leagues - Beltran, who was the Royals’ second round pick [49th overall] from the same draft class is pictured on LeBron’s card, though the card listed with Beltran’s name / bio should still be the one that commands any interest [regardless of the goof].

After a player retires like Beltran did in 2017, there maybe an extended period of time where you are just out of sight, out of mind - though as a borderline Hall of Fame player, Beltran may gain support for his eventual induction in Cooperstown.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Featured autograph - Steve Pearce

When Pearce was named the 2018 World Series MVP, I had to dig this card from somewhere and was glad to find it relatively quickly among a brick of cards I'd organized for players involved in transactions in a particular year - I may remember watching an at-bat of his once in-person when he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates [in 2008 perhaps].

I thought he had a nice batting stance and perhaps the look of a guy who can put up some decent numbers - though didn't seem like a top prospect and hadn't really established himself at all in the major leagues.

He has bounced around in his big league career and I guess the best thing I could say before this postseason - was he was a role player who had some pop in his bat and performed well at times in a platoon situation.

I got this card from an autograph forum that once had these listings where you could use points you collected from commenting or otherwise helping someone out - the autograph [I assume it was from TTM request] isn't too bold and maybe exposure to the natural elements made it fade a bit faster.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Awesome action collection subsets

Probably influenced by other uber specific theme collectors, I want to see if I can classify certain cards within a main collecting topic subset - in the Google Sheets file where I list my ‘AA’ collection, I added a new ‘classification’ column, where I’ll tag each card listed with one of the following ‘labels.’

Actual on field game action
Dirt fetish
Fun cards and personality shots
Game face and unique perspectives
Other sports

At times, I don't want to spend time playing with my cards so maybe it is a bit tedious to go through my cards one-by-one to see which subset they belong - does this new classification 'deal' complicate things or help 'stretch things out' as far as my interests in any one particular mini-collection, forcing me to do what I might not feel like doing.

I have to worry about some overlap, but I feel like I can still play around to determine where my pulls or my finds go - I've started with my latest 'AA' adds and look to tag the cards featured on my sampler pages.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bloodlines collection - a visual guide

The logistics in displaying sampler pages for my bloodlines collection was still up in the air - the main collection consists of miscellaneous cards of professional athletes [primarily baseball] who maybe have brothers, fathers, grandfathers, cousins, nephews play professionally as well.

There are some ‘completed’ bloodlines connections within this sampler lot - but I feel like I'm lagging when I don’t have a card of an applicable card of a family member handy.

A subject not represented among these sampler pages just means I have to go out and get the card - in my main collection, it isn’t a big deal to be missing a card that makes up part of a family chain, though for the more notable bloodlines, I need to get those missing cards in-hand.

I wanted to make it where in most cases the cards for applicable bloodlines ties were shown side-by-side [for the most part] and used up 7 pages to display the cards I had in-hand - I tried to grab cards from various pro athlete families, though these sampler pages are not comprehensive.

Acunas x2 - father Ronald Sr. and son Ronald Jr.
Alomars x2 - brothers Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr.; missing a card for father Sandy Sr.
Bichettes x3 - father Dante and son Bo; missing a card for Dante Jr., who was once a prospect for the New York Yankees.
Bonds x2 - father Bobby and son Barry; missing a card for Bobby Jr., who was a career minor leaguer.
Canos x2 - father Jose and son Robinson [on the back of his father's card].

Alou / Rojas x2 - Moises Alou and Mel Rojas [on the back of his cousin Moises' card]; if I understand it correctly, Rojas is the paternal name, but Alou ended up the most commonly used surname for the distinguished baseball family; missing cards of Moises’ father Felipe along with uncles Jesus and Matty.
Boones x4 - grandfather Gus, father Bob, Bob’s sons Bret, Aaron and Matt [who didn't make it to the major leagues, but has a mainstream Bowman card from 2000].
Brantleys x2 - father Mickey and son Michael [on the back of his father's card]
Bretts x1 - George Brett; missing a card for brother Ken.
Cansecos x2 - brothers Jose and Ozzie [on the back of his brother's card].

Cruz x3 - father Jose Sr., son Jose Jr. and Jose Sr.’s brother Hector; missing a Tommy Cruz card.
DiMaggios x2 - brothers Dom and Joe, missing a card for their other brother Vince
Fielders x2 - father Cecil and son Prince
Gonzalez x2 - brothers Adrian and Edgar

Gooden / Sheffield x2 - uncle Dwight and nephew Gary
Gordons x3 - father Tom and half brothers Dee and Nick
Griffey x3 - father Ken Sr. and sons Ken Jr. and one-time minor leaguer Craig.
Hoffman x2 - brothers Trevor and Glenn [on the back of his brother's card].

Guerreros x4 - father Vladimir., son Vlad Jr,. Vladimir's brother Wilton, Vladimir's cousin Cristian [longtime minor leaguer] and Vlad Jr.'s cousin Gabby [who made his MLB debut in 2018].
Mahomes x2 - father Pat [MLB] and son Patrick [NFL]
Martinez x2 - father Carlos and son Jose

Martinez x1 - brothers Ramon and Pedro
McCaffreys x2 - father Ed and son Christian
Millers x2 - brothers Darrell [MLB] and Reggie [NBA], missing a card for sister Cheryl [basketball] and Darrell Jr. [Topps put him on a 2018 Topps Heritage Minors leaders subset card].
Molinas x3 - brothers Bengie, Jose and Yadier.
Rodriguez x1 - father Ivan and son Dereck [shown on dual sided insert card he shares with father].

Ripkens x4 - grandfather Cal Sr., sons Cal Jr. and Billy; Cal Jr’s son Ryan.
Uptons x2 - brothers B.J. and Justin
Smiths x2 [not pictured - 10/29 add] - father Dwight and son Dwight Jr.
Van Slykes x2 - father Andy and son Scott

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

2018 Topps Update hobby jumbo pack x2

I had to make a late afternoon run to get some Topps Updates at some card shop I stopped at - I’m looking for anything Juan Soto [note, didn't pull any] and took the plunge with two jumbo packs; I used to try to get a single jumbo pack of every Topps release, but I haven’t really done so in recent years.

Maybe I could get a retail blaster box somewhere, but while it is a little different - I’d rather get something ‘hobby’ as far as roughly getting the same number of cards [but maybe a better chance of pulling something of note].

No pics, they are plastered all over eBay listings anyway - this took roughly five minutes [cut and paste from a Google Docs file where I list my pack breaks].

Pack one
#US50 Andrew Cashner
#US192 Daniel Palka
#US3 Jordan Lyles
#US121 George Springer
#US95 Dustin Fowler
#US88 Daniel Mengden
#US75 J.A. Happ
#US37 Javier Baez
#US206 Neil Walker
#US278 Yan Gomes
#US149 Leonys Martin
#US240 Gerrit Cole
#US231 Jesse Biddle
#US295 Yonny Chirinos
#US238 Matt Harvey
#US70 Brad Hand
#US277 Ryan Tepera
#US82 Eric Lauer
#US27 Christian Yelich
#US140 Clay Buchholz
#US118 Evan Longoria
#US292 Brandon Drury
#US189 Shohei Ohtani - checklist
#US110 Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
#US25 Willy Adames
#US136 Starlin Castro
#S-41 Didi Gregorius - Game Changers insert
#IA-50 Gleyber Torres - An International Affair insert; maybe something up my alley
#DB-7 Ichiro - Don’t Blink insert
#83-41 Hyun-Jin Ryu - 1983 Topps Baseball
#AST-JH Josh Hader - All-Star Stitches; this is probably the equivalent of a manufactured relic pull from a blaster
#US103 Luis Guillorme / Gershon Bautista - Rookie Combos
#US151 Matt Kemp
#US65 Christian Yelich / Lorenzo Cain - Throw Your Hands in the Air
#US247 Marcus Walden
#US214 Ariel Jurado
#US18 Mike Soroka
#US81 Sean Doolittle
#US38 Jose Berrios
#US87 Joey Votto / Billy Hamilton - Thunder & Lightning; should have put Scooter Gennett and Votto together.
#US249 Wander Suero
#US216 Max Stassi
#US39 Freddy Peralta
#US228 Colin Moran
#US46 Carlos Gomez
#US225 Mike Fiers
#US125 Carlos Santana
#US178 Danny Farquhar

Pack two
#US270 Dereck Rodriguez
#US93 Daniel Winkler
#US130 Austin Meadows
#US284 Arodys Vizcaino
#US186 Lorenzo Cain
#US243 Marco Gonzalez
#US76 Salvador Perez
#US254 Tommy Kahnle
#US60 Yadier Molina
#US55 Mike Moustakas
#US150 Eric Hosmer / Cody Bellinger - Get Off My Base
#US58 Jordan Hicks
#US173 Tyler Wade
#US276 Hector Santiago
#US146 Blake Treinen
#US210 Kirby Yates
#US113 Jesus Aguilar
#US144 Lou Trivino
#US259 Stephen Piscotty
#US157 Francisco Lindor
#US199 Francisco Lindor / Jose Ramirez - All Smiles
#US286 Shane Carle
#US54 Denard Span
#US262 Sam Gaviglio
#US233 Tommy Pham
#US59 Kyle Schwarber
#US89 Justin Verlander
#US250 Ronald Acuna Jr. - his actual RC
#S-48 Edwin Encarnacion - Game Changers insert
#US161 Seranthony Dominguez - Rainbow Foil
#SE-10 Andy Pettitte - Storybook Endings insert
#83-31 Gerrit Cole - 1983 Topps
#US29 David Hess / Pedro Araujo - Rookie Combos
#US282 Brian Flynn
#US128 Scott Kingery / Rhys Hoskins - Philly Fives
#US273 David Bote
#US191 Gleyber Torres - Rookie Debut
#US9 Nick Kingham
#US185 Corey Kluber
#US255 Max Muncy
#US53 Seung Hwan Oh
#US45 Bartolo Colon
#US164 Jefry Marte
#US22 Tyler Chatwood
#US35 Dan Otero
#US158 Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout - Next Stop, Stardom
#US166 Juan Lagares
#US5 James Paxton
#US280 Ross Stripling
#US147 Matt Moore

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Inking it up collection - a visual guide

Collecting autographs in-person or the idea of getting something signed is one of my last links to what I was doing when I was in my late teens - I would never, ever consider myself too old to get something signed by any person I could get an autograph from, though reality tells me otherwise.

Maybe the opportunities are not there and/or are too commercialized to be as pure as getting a card or a ball signed at a spot like a ball game - but maybe as a nod to years I've spent literally chasing after signatures, I collect the cards picturing players 'inking it up' for fans.

It maybe a random factoid, but I was able to get in-person autographs from 22 of the 27 players pictured on these group of cards, spanning about 30 years - I may have stories from the 22 guys I got autographs from, though I missed out on five guys as far as getting their autograph in-person.

1. Babe Ruth - obviously, though I was going for Lou Gehrig and neither one signed when the New York Yankees came into town one year.

2. Roberto Alomar - I've always seen him as a prima donna of sorts and the only time I'd ever remember him signing was when he was playing for the Cleveland Indians and on a night when I wasn't around.

As the story retold to me goes, someone was heckling him after a game for perhaps ignoring fans on his way out of the ballpark - to shut the heckler up, Alomar proceeds to sign for everyone, but the individual who gave him a hard time.

3. Kirby Puckett - maybe forced to retire the year before I was graphing at my local big league park and my only apparent successes with are TTM.

4. John Smiley - mostly pitched in the National League, before Interleague play was a thing and I was really only getting my autographs at an American League ballpark when I first started.

5. Kim Batiste - I was more into cards when this junk wax era utility man was playing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Multi-sport athletes collection - a visual guide

I wanted continue seeing if I could display certain collecting subset cards in nine-pocket pages - as featured in previous posts on this blog over the summer, I started to make sampler pages of my favorite mini collections to see if I could put together a binder to flip through.

With a new box of Ultra Pro pages, I wanted to add cards of my bloodlines, inking it up and multi-sport athletes collections as priorities - I put together 17 cards using one page as a snapshot of prominent pro athletes in one sport, yet might have been good enough to dabble in at least one other sport [high school / college / pros] at one point in their playing careers.

These cards were originally referred to as 'two-sport stars' collection, though in my collection, there are cards of players who simply forgettable - guys who may not have developed professionally in a sport they tried to play, like a baseball player who spends four or five years in the minors, but ends up going back to college to play football in anonymity.

First row: John Elway [NFL / MiLB], Bill Spiers [MLB / NCAA football], Todd Helton [MLB / NCAA football]
Second row: Bo Jackson [MLB / NFL], Jim Thorpe, Dave Winfield
Third row: Brian Jordan [NFL / MLB], Dick Ricketts [NBA/MLB], Ron Reed x2 [NBA/MLB]

First row: Nyjer Morgan [MLB / hockey], Zack Von Rosenberg [MiLB / NCAA football], Tony Gonzalez [NFL / NCAA basketball]
Second row: Frank Thomas [MLB / NCAA football], Deion Sanders [MLB / NFL], Tony Gwynn
Third row: Ron Reed [second card] and Michael Jordan [NBA / MiLB]

In my collecting life, it was Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders who made the idea of two-sport players a real attraction during the junk wax era - Jackson had all-world potential as a baseball player and maybe I saw Sanders as an ersatz version of Bo, maybe more flash than substance on a big league field.

Looking at his stats, Sanders was actually decent MLB player, though the NFL was always the priority - as it goes, Neon Deion was the one who didn't get hurt [insert of some of tired tackling joke here] and ended up in the Pro Football HOF while Jackson's NFL career was cut short by injury.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

1978 Topps Paul Molitor / Alan Trammell RC #707

Centering on this copy is off a bit and maybe the edges on the back show some imperfections, but this card was a scratch the itch add to my PC - maybe the card will look different once in-hand, but maybe the most important consideration is the yellow space above the red bottom border looks fairly clean without smudging.

As a manager, Molitor just got fired by the Minnesota Twins - but I’m trying to find a narrative as far as my recollections of him as an active player.

Seeing a loose junk wax era card of his, I might have thought 'The Ignitor' was a minor star at best, winding down his playing career with the Milwaukee Brewers through the end of the 1980s - he had a 39-game hitting streak in 1987, but there wasn’t as much attachment to him as any kind of ‘real star’ when I first started collecting.

With no particularly feelings attached to any particular player - I look at his numbers, how good he was, how many home runs hit, how high the batting average was and how many runners were driven in.

I thought there might have been a pronounced decline of some sort in his 30s, but Molitor was quite productive - looking at his stats from 1988-1992, he was putting up ‘Paul Molitor numbers’ and played in over 150 games in all but one of those seasons for the Brewers.

I noticed how he might have been a great player after all, because he was a hitting machine for the Toronto Blue Jays in the mid 1990s - the perennially contending Blue Jays finally won a championship in 1992 and in the organization’s defense of a World Series title, Molitor was another quality veteran added for repeat World Series championship run in 1993 [he was named MVP of the 1993 World Series].

After waiting for quite a while, Trammell was finally inducted the Hall of Fame this past year - he played through 1996 but his last hurrah as a star player probably ended through the 1980s.

As is, he was pretty familiar as a junk wax era guy - maybe it doesn’t mean anything at all but he was also pretty accommodating about signing, the times I’ve gotten him as a retired player, so he gets a thumbs up in my book.

Friday, October 12, 2018

1982 Topps Chili Davis rookie card #171

I'll always associate Davis with Angels teams of the late 1980s through the mid 1990s and picked this multiplayer card up to group with random Angels cards I may put together - he was a player who wielded a big stick and seemed like the last guy a pitcher wanted to go head-to-head with in a crucial game situation or frankly, in a brawl.

I remember getting his autograph in-person about 20 years ago and to make small talk - I said something like, 'it's too bad you aren't an Angel anymore.'

Davis responded back, saying something like he had no regrets, since he was playing for the New York Yankees - he only played 35 games for the 114 win juggernaut 1998 team, but played in 146 games in his last MLB season in 1999.

Unfortunately after one season, Davis was just fired by the Chicago Cubs as their hitting coach and his status in the major leagues is up in the air - whether a team is willing to offer him a job and if he is looking to continue coaching.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Card shop finds - a random quartet

I don’t want to get crazy with impulsive non-baseball card quarter box digs if I ever stop at a card shop - so I grabbed a few that caught my eye for a moment and added them to my other purchases of supplies, some other loose cards and several loose packs.

2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks football Patrick Mahomes II #79 - though he threw two interceptions in his team's 30-14 win last Sunday, he's probably been one of the hyped up NFL players this season; if nothing else, in my bloodlines collection, I wanted to pair this card up with a card of his father Pat Mahomes, who was a former MLB pitcher.

2018 Panini Donruss football Christian McCaffrey #22 - I had a random card of his father Ed, who played in the NFL during the 1990s, so I grabbed a card of Christian's to tie things up [for now] in my bloodlines collection.

2018 Panini Contenders Draft Picks football Adrian Peterson #4 - this card of longtime star running back can go to my beyond the glory collection or my infamous collection.

I would probably inclined to go ‘beyond the glory’ since he has been through a lot in his football life, as well as personal life - in my world of mini-collection cards, there is no need to glorify the mistakes this pro athlete has made.

2018 Panini Player of the Day football Russell Wilson #36 - as the Seattle Seahawks teams around him as been torn down and rebuilt over the years, maybe the narrative surrounding his career has lost its luster.

While Wilson has been singled out as a divisive figure in the locker room for any number of reasons - I still like the guy enough to pick up a card of his.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

A couple of newish Shohei Ohtani finds

2018 Topps Heritage High Numbers 1969 Collector Cards Shohei Ohtani #69CC-SO [$4.99 BIN plus $1.00 s/h] - I've tried not to worry about the glut of Ohtani rookie year cards because it's just hard to really keep up, but this was a cutesy looking retail exclusive insert.

I've still spent money on random card things, but felt like I’ve bought less retail blasters - it maybe the case where I don’t get a chance to get this card at all unless I get it outright.

I may have paid a premium for this card, but maybe it evens out with how much it costs to have it shipped to me - that sounds stupid when I realize the card will probably be in a PWE, but it is what it is and I don’t mind as long as the card arrives safely.

2018 Topps Now Shohei Ohtani / Juan Soto AL / NL Rookies of the Month #824 [$4.95 BIN] - the final regular season Ohtani card through his rookie year, though there maybe a card for when he wins the American League Rookie of the Year award.

I’ve kept up with just about every Topps Now Ohtani card released through his rookie season - a caveat is that no autographs or parallels perhaps, but those weren't realistic pickups for me.

Maybe the cards will be nice to go back through - especially if Ohtani is still is on that dual pitcher / hitter track.

Because it won’t be his rookie year anymore, I don’t think the plan is to get all the Topps Now Ohtani cards in 2019 - though I’ll keep an eye out for any ‘interesting’ ones.