Friday, March 29, 2019

Featured autograph - Nick Margevicius

This is an autograph I got last September of an anonymous Lake Elsinore pitcher who was playing long toss with a teammate - before doing some running across the warning track from foul pole to foul pole.

I waited around until he was walking to the dugout to ask him to sign one of those preprinted The Autograph Card blanks - “I don’t sign those” he said.

I don’t know why I wanted his autograph in the first place - for the 30 minutes I'd waited around, this guy shut me down rather quick and had to rummage through my autograph book to see if I had anything that could be signed.

Maybe just where the netting ends, he stopped to sign for at least a couple of kids and I whipped out a ticket stub from the previous night's game - he relented to scribble on that and my mission to get this random Cal League pitcher was done.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Featured autograph - Jimmie Reese

Reese didn’t play for the MLB Angels, but was a beloved figure as a longtime coach for the team - he was also a one-time roommate of Babe Ruth.

I started following baseball during Reese's later years in life in the early 1990s - I picked this autograph card up through Baseball Card Exchange to flesh out my Angels PC and as a small nod to this man working behind the scenes until his passing,

Sunday, March 24, 2019

2019 Donruss 30 card value pack

I wanted to like Donruss as a ‘niche’ baseball card product years ago, but for the most obvious of reasons - it’s just not something I’ll go out of my way to get a look at.

#96 Mallex Smith
#49 Steven Duggar
#110 Luis Severino
#82 Austin Meadows
#54 David Peralta
#88 Clayton Kershaw
#47 Ramon Laureano
#66 Sean Manaea
#98 Kyle Schwarber

#205 Grayson Grenier
- Breast Cancer parallel serial #’d 16/25
#62 J.D. Martinez - Holo Red parallel
#N5 Juan Soto - Vector parallel / Nicknames insert
#231 Framber Valdez - faux 1985 Donruss style
#168 Hunter Pence
#238 Bryse Wilson - faux 1985 Donruss style
#147 Freddy Peralta
#243 Matt Boyd - faux 1985 Donruss style
#171 Matt Carpenter
#246 Eric Haase - faux 1985 Donruss style
#140 Kevin Pillar
#209 Tanner Rainey - faux 1985 Donruss style
#239 Ryan Tellez - faux 1985 Donruss style
#181 Blake Snell - ‘Zilla’ variation
#21 Christian Yelich - Diamond Kings
#185 Trevor Story
#192 Matt Chapman
#9 Yoan Moncada - Diamond Kings
#165 Javier Baez
#198 Sandy Alcantara
#157 Gleyber Torres

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Farewell Ichiro

Ichiro is still pretty damn athletic at 45, but with his bat speed severely diminished and his ability to contribute on a day-to-day basis not something to be seriously considered - he finally walked away from the big leagues for good, getting an opportunity take the field as a player when his longtime Mariners played in Japan to start the 2019 season early.

I liked him just like everyone else seemed to - mainly it was because he was all about infield singles, stealing bases, showing off his arm and his defensive skills as a fast-paced contrast to the plodding all-or-nothing players who had one skill [slugging a lot of home runs], but offered little else.

Maybe for years, the media couldn't pin a narrative to Ichiro's career - part of the appeal was the quirkiness and mystery of this far east hit machine who crashed the major leagues at 27, yet was a year-to-year threat to reach the 200-hit plateau that he made up for 'lost years' to reach the 3,000 hit milestone.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

2012 Topps Heritage Mike Trout #207

I had no doubt the Angels were going to pay their franchise player - what else is there to say other than with the way Trout has built himself up as an all-around player, he'll continue to having lasting power through his mid 30s when he is supposed to be getting old and declining.

As far as Trout cards, I'll keep the ones I pull or stumble upon, but don't really go looking for ones to pick up since his better cards are always in demand - maybe two or three years ago, this particular second-year card was probably worth $3, but interest had picked up and it caught my attention.

I remember having a fling with trying to build the 2012 Topps Heritage set off loose pack / blaster breaks but lost interest soon enough - after the fact, it's easier to start with a hand-collated set purchase on eBay.

I didn't find a Trout among the 150-card box that housed my loose Heritage set-build from seven years ago - to scratch the itch, I had to get a copy even if it meant paying the going rate for a graded '9' example of his first Heritage card.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2018 Topps Heritage Minors Jo Adell #220

I bought a copy of Adell's short printed Heritage Minors card last fall, because I thought it might be a nice low-end single, especially if he impressed in spring training - unfortunately, the crown jewel of the Angels farm system will be out for 10-12 weeks after getting hurt during a game.

While injuries suffered saps some of the prospects rankings hype for Adell entering the year - hopefully his circumstances doesn't affect his rise towards becoming a big league star, even if he'll be on the shelf in the meantime.

I got another copy of the Adell card when I recently purchased a full hand-collated set [1-220], including the SPs [201-220] - there wasn’t an incentive to get last year's Topps Heritage Minors set because I didn’t go to the Arizona Fall League to sort of get started on getting at least 15-20 inked up.

However, because of the odd in-person or TTM opportunity to get some of the cards off this set signed, it’s hard to think about not having stocked up on the most recent Topps Heritage Minors set - I’ve tried to go ‘cheaper’ in years past, only buying the base 1-200 set, but just so there are no questions about not having certain cards, I got a set with the 20 short prints.

Monday, March 04, 2019

2019 Topps Heritage blaster box

I think Topps Heritage is just another brand, but that is how I've felt about current-year releases in recent years - at least there might be something about Heritage feeling a little old-timey, especially with the thicker card stock.

I sort of like the heaviness of the packs in a blaster - it's kind of like a brick and it almost doesn't feel like a waste spending $20 for a casual rip of baseball cards.

The grey borders do seem boring and maybe drab, but that is how the original 1970 cards look - the inserts I might find in an average box may stand out a bit more than the base cards, though I would assume any particular one wouldn't be too hard to find if I wanted them outright.

Pack one
#370 Mike Moustakas
#148 Ronald Guzman
#71 2018 National League Strikeout Leaders - feat. Scherzer, deGrom and Corbin
#249 Jeremy Jeffress
#443 Matt Kemp - SP
#287 Mike Fiers
#183 Wilmer Flores
#346 Pedro Strop
#388 Carlos Santana

Pack two
#119 Michael Wacha
#219 Jesus Sucre
#262 Padres Rookie Stars - feat. Nix and Urias
#224 Chase Anderson
#THC-477 Mitch Haniger - Chrome parallel, serial #’d 522/999
#333 Manny Pina
#244 Angels Rookie Stars - feat. Arcia, Buttrey and Jerez
#310 Red Sox Celebrate World Series Title Win
#294 Justin Anderson

Pack three
#75 Jake Lamb
#296 Tucker Barnhart
#36 Reds Rookie Stars - feat. Trahan and Reyes
#255 Jonathan Gray
#NAP19 Jacob deGrom - New Age Performers insert
#58 Gorkys Hernandez
#362 Freddie Freeman - All-Star subset
#316 Dansby Swanson
#367 Bryce Harper - All-Star subset

Pack four
#107 Joe Panik
#222 Hunter Dozier
#152 Matt Boyd
#77 Tony Watson
#438 Matt Carpenter - SP
#344 Joe Musgrove
#82 Austin Romine
#312 Yairo Munoz
#338 Jarrod Dyson

Pack five
#271 Kyle Seager
#95 Joe Jimenez
#94 Francisco Cervelli
#2018 American League RBI Leaders - feat. Martinez, Davis and Encarnacion
#6 of 15 Lorenzo Cain - Baseball Scratch Off insert
#199 Jackie [Bradley] Clears Ducks on the Pond!
#270 Jorge Alfaro
#176 Will Smith
#2018 American League HR Leaders - feat. Davis, Martinez and Gallo

Pack six
#103 Miguel Rojas
#217 Tim Anderson
#378 Max Kepler
#290 Jose LeClerc
#NF-3 Earth Day Festivities Sprout in U.S. - News Flashbacks insert
#13 Chris Stratton
#147 Yangervis Solarte
#198 When [Yasiel] Puigs Fly!
#398 Teoscar Hernandez

Pack seven
#193 Devon Travis
#21 Athletics Rookie Stars - feat. Laureano and Martini
#213 Mark Trumbo
#334 Jose Quintana
#5 of 15 Anthony Rizzo - 1970 Topps Baseball Candy Lids
#321 Arodys Vizcaino
#2 Felix Hernandez
#153 Seth Lugo
#124 Marcus Stroman

Pack eight
#78 Mookie Betts
#235 Ryan Zimmerman
#137 Jurickson Profar
#85 Chris Iannetta
#429 Gerrit Cole - SP
#259 Chad Pinder
#285 Isiah Kiner-Falefa
#16 Jake Junis
#359 J.D. Martinez