Monday, September 30, 2019

Featured autograph - Jaime Barría

After a solid rookie season in 2018, maybe Angels manager Brad Ausmus and/or pitching coach Doug White didn't like what they saw from this guy in spring training this past year - so in his sophomore season, Barría was never able to get into any sort of groove, bouncing back and forth between AAA and the big leagues.

Who knows if Barría will get a serious opportunity to pitch for the Angels in 2020 - but for my all-time Angels autograph collection, I was able to add this certified autograph.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

2018 Choice Trenton Thunder Chace Numata #18

I didn't know anything about this minor league catcher, but grabbed a card of his when I saw a Tweet where his organs were donated to save five lives - as it goes, despite the fatal circumstances of his passing, he's been immortalized in my collection as someone who was able to help those in need.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

2019 Topps Clear Travel Mike Trout #CP-1

I didn’t know what this set was but after reading the Baseball Cards Come to Life! blog and doing some quick searches on eBay, I picked up a copy of the Trout - there maybe a number of oddball and/or regional Topps issues each year that maybe distributed as promos through different brand tie-ins.

To get suckered into paying a premium to pick up any one particular card is a little silly, especially when the oddball mirrors the flagship card of the player except for some cosmetic changes - still, maybe a little FOMO was in play as I missed out on picking up a couple of current year specialty issues outright, like the 2019 Topps Utz and 2019 Topps Walgreens yellow Trouts.

Cards from this set have different numbering as part a promo tie-in for the company that does expedited security screenings at the airport - I was hoping these cards were only released through airports, making the distribution a little bit more peculiar, thus making the cards seemingly harder to find under normal circumstances.

After the fact, it looks like the cards were more likely [but not outright] stadium giveaways at MLB games - since the Clear screenings have expanded to big league ballparks as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

2009 Topps Updates Ichiro sketch card

I was digging around some monster boxes at a dealer's card show booth when I found this card - I had to pick it up based on the idea this would be a cool find if it was an actual sketch card, rather than some sort of preprinted copy.

After the fact, I did some research about this 10-year old insert - from what I assume, the cards from the set didn't have a more common version and this particular card was probably the real deal as far as an artist working on depicting the athlete shown.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 hanger box recap

Flagship Topps is fairly common, but with a chance to pull rookies and rookie-year parallels - there might be a chance to buy something unopened at a big box store on a whim and find a card that might be worth something.

I bought this along with the Topps Heritage High hanger box featured in an earlier post - maybe due to the 'better than a blaster' type posts on other card blogs, maybe I'm looking to spend a random $20 and tax on something than a lone blaster box of any baseball card product.

I prefer a little more variety and maybe a workable compromise I came with to get my fix - was picking up hanger boxes of two different Topps branded cards, rather than a single blaster.

#504 Stephen Tarpley
#506 Ben Gamel
#655 Tyler O’Neill
#656 Jacob Faria
#681 Jeff Mathis
#474 Carson Kelly
#413 Mike Fiers
#576 Jake Cave
#606 Johnny Field
#471 Kevin Newman
#356 Stephen Strasburg
#686 Brandon Drury
#562 Willy Adames
#478 Alen Hanson
#652 Rosell Herrera
#594 Austin Slater
#440 Dustin Pedroia
#497 New York Mets team card
#447 Up High, Down Low - feat. Springer and Altuve
#625 Milwaukee Menaces - feat. Yelich and Arcia
#491 Detroit Tigers team card
#584 Josh James
#517 Shawn Armstrong
#380 Chris Archer
#645 Steve Cishek
#542 Chris Davis
#509 Texas Rangers team card
#406 Jason Castro - gold serial #’d 0461/2019
#FF-9 Bob Feller - Franchise Feats insert
#FF-4 Cal Ripken Jr. - Franchise Feats insert
#519 Julio Urias - 150th Anniversary parallel
#ES-3 Houston Astros - Ballpark Evolution insert
#AJ-25 Aaron Judge
#AJ-13 Aaron Judge
#NNO Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
#84AS-DMA Don Mattingly - 1984 Topps Baseball
#590 Jose Peraza
#378 Brandon Workman
#505 Dellin Betances
#518 Steven Wright
#513 Brett Gardner
#467 A.J. Minter
#381 Juan Lagares
#375 Cody Reed
#358 Leonys Martin
#472 Scott Kingery
#586 Drew VerHagen
#423 Ji-Man Choi
#434 Roberto Osuna
#361 Taylor Davis
#515 Hyun-Jin Ryu
#570 Eduardo Escobar
#695 Eric Thames
#579 Andrew Benintendi
#364 Kenta Maeda
#550 Adam Cimber
#507 Cody Bellinger
#391 Jung-Ho Kang
#397 Lance McCullers
#635 Adam Frazier
#534 Aaron Altherr
#407 Eduardo Nunez
#670 Eloy Jimenez
#487 San Diego Sluggers - feat. Hosmer and Renfroe
#363 Max Stassi - I want to say something about not be able to tell what team he’s currently playing for, but he's was picked up by the Angels and looks to get hip surgery sooner than not.
#502 Mike Montgomery
#386 Ryan Pressly

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

2019 Topps Heritage High recap

Did I need some retail therapy [?] - I don't want to go add more redundant cards to whatever claptrap I have that I consider a collection, particularly when I'm not as emotionally attached to either MLB or its players towards the end of the season.

On the other hand, cards are familiar to me and there might be a little bit of FOMO - as far as getting an chance to buy a retail blaster or hanger box right now to possibly pull a rookie card or rookie-year parallel of a rookie star like Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Fernando Tatis Jr., Eloy Jimenez, etc.

#634 Asdrubal Cabrera
#615 Skye Bolt
#527 Jorge Alfaro
#544 Daniel Murphy
#645 Tanner Roark
#559 Jeurys Familia
#657 Matt Moore

#562 Wade Miley - the last two seasons have been bounce back years for the veteran lefty, but busting a big league baseball card product, the run of retread players never ceases to bore me.
#668 Leury Garcia
#586 Daniel Descalso
#685 Anthony DeSclafani
#600 Jeff Samardzija
#524 Griffin Canning - I’ve had different kinds of Canning prospect cards, but this is one with the MLB/MLBPA rookie card logo, so that means something right?

#612 Trevor Richards

#699 Caleb Smith - the last two guys [Richards and Smith] are not quite retread veterans, but seem pretty anonymous for me to care about.
#606 Domingo Santana

#20 of 30 Pete Alonso - Candy Lid insert; I think I would have preferred a regular card or parallel, but I can't complain.
#716 Alen Hanson - SP
#THC-541 Yasiel Puig - Chrome parallel serial #’d 206/569

#AW-8 Alex Bregman - Award Winners insert; maybe he gets some narrative votes for the American League MVP, but the writers are intent on making sure the sheer excellence of Mike Trout's year-to-year numbers never gets taken for granted.

#574 Craig Kimbrel - he seems like a probable Hall of Famer, but the past couple of years have been a mixed bag, whether pitching in the postseason in 2018 or starting this past season in the middle of the year.

#673 Hansel Robles - he’s been lights out for a bad Angels team and presumably with a bump in salary in 2020, hope he doesn't turn back into the reliever his old team ended up throwing away.
#583 John Brebbia
#682 Charlie Culberson
#591 Christian Walker
#690 Scott Alexander
#601 Drew Pomeranz
#700 Nick Kingham
#608 Braden Bishop
#515 Sam Gaviglio

#512 Keston Hiura - he might be the rookie whose card I wanted to pull, besides the obvious guys mentioned.

The first time I was ever aware of Hiura, was when he played for Team USA in 2016 - I literally thought of him as just another guy and didn't bother getting his autograph.

I didn't anticipate him being a first round pick in 2017 - while emerging as a future hitting star in the middle of a big league lineup two or three seasons later.

#613 Cal Quantrill
#580 Brandon Woodruff
#679 Aaron Sanchez
#55 Jurickson Profar

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Featured autograph - Ichiro Suzuki

As an in-person autograph collector at one time, Ichiro was the scribble to get back in 2001, along with some other rookie who was doing some things in the Senior Circuit - looking back, I might remember outlasting some of the other yahoos who came by, expecting Ichiro's Seattle Mariners to arrive after traveling from other city.

Ichiro might have been going out to dinner when the prominent 'all-star' grapher back in the day begged, "there's only four of us" and Ichiro came over, grabbed the guy's pen and quickly signed our items - it was such a satisfying get, since it was the most random 'never gonna happen' thing.

Looking back, the Mariners were supposed to play the Angels - but the MLB games were postponed because of 9/11.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

A monster box rummage - yields a pair of 1990s inserts

1995 Select Gold Team Will Clark #9 of 12 - to juice up my notable player binders by decade, it should be a no brainer to pick up loose inserts, particularly if they were the UV coated inserts from the mid through late 1990s.

1997 Pinnacle Team Pinnacle John Smoltz / Andy Pettitte #9 of 10 - I tend to think dual sided cards are a little odd, a little irregular, but it's a shiny insert with a Dufex finish [at least the 'front' with Smoltz pictured].

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Featured autograph - Bo Jackson

This card caught my eye because it actually pictures Jackson as an Angel and I’ve wanted a Jackson autograph for my all-time Angels collection - I got a reluctant Jackson to scribble on a golf tournament program 10 years ago, but the booklet with celebrity participant bios and sponsors was a throw away item for me, meant to be lost somewhere.

I’d probably have to make the autograph a cut, then send it to PSA/DNA to be slabbed - so it would be harder to fit into my collection of all-time Angels autographs outright, with my collection mostly being trading cards.

FWIW, I don’t know if a trading card booklet would fit into my all-time Angels autograph collection either - but it is still otherwise a card I can add to my regional PC as well, even though a Bo Jackson Angels booklet card seems simply odd in general.

I remember 'Bo' being a two-sport superstar, who was probably as popular was Michael Jordan in the short period of time when he was playing for the Kansas City Royals in baseball and the Los Angeles Raiders in football - but of course his professional career as a baseball / football player was derailed by a hip injury suffered during an NFL game.

Jackson was simply a shell of himself by the time he spent one final season in Major League Baseball, playing for the Angels - still, with the help of eBay Bucks that came in handy, the decision was made to splurge on this pick up.