Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Featured autograph - Masahiro Tanaka

This is a card I probably didn't need in the 'here and now,' but even though Tanaka's stardom has devolved ever since he came over as a super hyped import from Japan back in 2013 - there was still some lingering scratch the itch allure with his autograph as some thing I've never gotten.

I like the card because it looks old-school cool, but then again maybe it needs a little ‘pop’ factor - the blue ink autograph gets my stamp of approval.

When he first came over, Tanaka was one of the autographs I've had to get because of his stature overseas - he might have been considered one of the best pitchers in the world.

As it goes, despite being a successful big leaguer for the New York Yankees, he's been more of an unspectacular innings eater - who has never pitched 200 innings in a big league season.

His stuff is good enough to get big league hitters out during most outings - but perhaps not good enough to consistently dominate with the lights out stuff he possessed in his first couple of big league seasons.

I don’t know how Tanaka is ever going to gain a higher level of prominence in the United States, especially if he ends up returning to Japan - but I like the feeling of adding the autograph of big leaguer who has been a ‘pro’s pro’ to my personal collection somewhere.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

TTM autographs received: Angel Pagan

Pagan personalized and signed my cards in about a month - he was a good get because I don't recall even getting a chance to see him in-person [small sample size noted] as he emerged as a contributor on World Series contending San Francisco Giants teams through the mid 2010s.

While Pagan should have been a player you maybe able to count as a success when trying for better players' autographs on a big league team - maybe he was as difficult to get as the established Giants' stars of the day like Tim Lincecum, Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner or Pablo Sandoval.

PS: I think as long as I'm collecting something, the blog posts on this blog will simply continue - but the relative lack of engagement on my part hits a little different for me, where blogging feels a little dated and it might not be worth it to go on much further.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Featured autograph - Gordon Beckham

From a f/s listing in a Facebook group I belong to, this was 1 of 3 IP/TTM autograph cards I picked up for $2 each - while I made sure to get a certified autograph of Beckham early in his pro career, he did not seem like he was an easy player to get an autograph from IP/TTM.

Coming out of college, I thought Beckham was going to be a big league star, but despite sticking around for 12 years - he was more of an up-and-down disappointment than a player to build around.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Some assorted odds and ends

I was looking on doing something on Christmas eve and found some cards online - I ended up with these to amuse me as part of a 27-card order that was mostly 1984 Donruss base cards for my partial set build of sorts.

The holiday mail was a cluster, so I had to wait 3 or 4 weeks for these cards to come in from an online seller - these were not the most important thing in the world to fret about, but in my little space, might represent some sort of lifeline as far as having something to look forward to.

1988 ProCards Denver Zephyrs Paul Mirabella #1258 - pitchers posed in a batting position maybe a playful thing pictured through random minor league teams sets through the late 1980s.

Around this time, Mirabella was a big league veteran who had intermittently pitched in the minor leagues - when a big league opportunity wasn't quite there for him.

1989 ProCards Cedar Rapids Reds Chris Lombardozzi #935 - this was a scratch the itch card I had to get my hands on, where the 6-year minor leaguer is pictured along the dugout railing with an Arby's roast beef sandwich and a drink in his hands.

1990 Best Stockton Ports Frank Bolick #7 - I don't think the one-time late 1990s Anaheim Angel has cards picturing him with the team, but I wanted to have a pair of cards to send to him in a possible through the mail autograph request.

1990 Leaf Gary Sheffield #157 - when he really had his first superstar season with the San Diego Padres nearly 30 years ago, this may have been his best mainstream card along wish his 1989 Upper Deck rookie card.
Through the junk wax era, there might have been a distinction where if a player's rookie cards were from your typical Topps, Donruss, Fleer or Score brands - there might a premium attached to something like Sheffield's first card [but really a second year issue] from a high-end, in-demand set that came of age through the early 1990s.

1997 Fleer Terry Steinbach #540 - I tried to make sure this was the card that pictured him as a Minnesota Twin where he is signing autographs; the inking it up version is an update from his other card in the set, still picturing him on the Oakland Athletics.

Friday, January 08, 2021

TTM autographs received: Alejandro Pena

The longtime big league reliever from the 1980s through mid 1990s signed my cards in about a couple of weeks for $3 per card - unofficially I might start building the 1984 Donruss and 1990 Leaf sets minus the cards I might already have, just so I have cards I can send out for TTM requests and perhaps have a signed / unsigned hybrid in-hand.

I doubt I'll ever pay any sort of premium to get any particular card from the sets signed, but I'd like to see my progress after a couple of years - there is something 'classy' about the sets that appeal to me, even 30-40 years after the fact.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

A look into my collecting goals for 2021

Like everyone else it seems, I have a yearly set of collecting goals, but maybe it gets too long winded to fully break down on a blog - I feel like a goof when I don't catch up to any of them and so maybe it is easier to keep them offline.

One thing I'd like to keep up on is picking up a year's worth of random cards [1/1/21] - I don't know if there is a distinction to be made, but while this goal was meant to be for the quirkier, off-the-wall or esoteric, it looks like it is for any number of finds for my various; out of my expected pickups, I expect to count out one card / set per month as highlights.

Maybe a theme is to pick up cards the kid in me would be proud of - I may not be able to live in the past, but see what cards can I pick up that the beginning collector me would just get a kick out or have a laugh at.

Keepers that have me irrationally animated - may not be definitive by any stretch, but certainly YOLO cards, Dime Time buys where my collection feels just a bit more rounded because I have these cards in-hand.

Dumb 'YOLO' cards - something like the Keith Comstock crotch card [have it] or the Billy Ripken FF card [got it] or the Mark Jackson Menendez card [got it]; something infamous [within reason].

Binder material cards - something shiny, something that pops, even though it cards that may not are not particularly valuable or sought after, just more decade stars fodder that catch my eye.

Other people's interests - sometimes picking up cards off someone’s else’s preferences or narrative can be interesting.

Topps Now / Topps on-demand - I got on benders 2 or 3 years where I would purchase Topps Now singles; they may have been ‘too easy’ impulse purchase then, though hardly the definitive cards of a particular player, so I've stayed away.

Holes to fill - traditional rookie cards - why do I feel like I’ve got to get some of these cards when they are from the junk wax era / junk years?

Maybe it’s because it’s a little throwback, tribute, shout out to something I think I was familiar with, even superficially - 1988 Roberto Alomar and Craig Biggio rookies, Canadian versions of junk wax era rookies [Maddux, Bonds], etc.

Personal, curated sets - I would like to have a micro-mini showcase of random cards that are listed as part of my Top 50 fun PC.

For 2021 onward, this might be my Wanted 100 / cheap-azz keepers mash-up - where the plan is to used my Wanted 100 to help build up a personally curated cheap-azz keepers collection of cards.

Maybe the possibilities are endless, but considering the ‘established spots’ in my card collection set-up already - do I really need to make more ‘cutesy’ subsets that are supposed to highlight cards, but end up redundant?

Saturday, January 02, 2021

A look back into a 2020 collecting goal

Like everyone else it seems, I have a yearly set of collecting goals, but maybe it gets too long winded to fully break down on a blog - I feel like a goof when I don't catch up to any of them and so maybe it is easier to keep them offline.

Looking at my generic goals I'd written for 2020, stuff that made sense at the beginning of the year - doesn't end up ringing quite as true, like trying to add some high-brow cards for my personal collections, notably old-school / vintage rookie cards of selected Hall of Famers for example.

The ongoing pandemic makes me skittish about throwing money into something that only sounds good on paper - when values have supposedly been artificially pumped up across the board, I find myself priced out in general.

Maybe I've shifted to lower-end interests in my collections, whether talking about strictly baseball cards or anything to do with autographs - one of the listed goals I had for 2020 to see if I can pick up 10-15 autographs of one-time Angels players.

I was able to ramp things up and 82 new autographs for my collection, though I have to officially list them - to make sure they are physically in my collection or otherwise accounted for.

1. 2014 Panini Donruss The Rookies Signatures Series autograph Tommy La Stella #68 [$1.75] - COMC; listed as a ‘Atlanta’ [Braves] card

2. 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter Framed Mini Autographs Julio Teheran #AGA-JT.1 [$3.99] - COMC; listed as a Atlanta Braves card

3. 2014 Bowman Prospect Autographs Chrome Mike Mayers #BCAP-MM.1 [$1.25] - COMC; listed as a St. Louis Cardinals card

4. 2019 Bowman - Chrome Prospect Autographs Jose Suarez #CPA-JS [$3.85] - COMC

5. John Verhoeven - TTM card

6. Al Spangler - TTM card

7. Chris Knapp - TTM card

8. Dave Sells - TTM card

9. 1989 Fleer Update Claudell Washington CAS Certified Sealed auto #U-17 [$5.45] - COMC

10. 2014 Topps Pro Debut Autographs Matt Ramsey #PDA-MR [$1.99] - COMC

11. 2013 Panini Pinnacle Autographs Tony Campana #TC [$1.08] - COMC

12. 2011 Topps Pro Debut Solo Signature Autographs Thomas Field #SSA-TF [$1.14] - COMC

13. Dustin Garneau - IP card

14. Dick Lange - TTM card

15. Steve Kealey - TTM card

16. Don Kirkwood - TTM card

17. Jack Hiatt - TTM card

18. Tom Donohue - TTM card

19. Lloyd Allen - TTM card

20. Tom Egan - TTM card

21. Larry Harlow - TTM card

22. Dave Parker - TTM card / $10

23. Merv Rettenmund - TTM card

24. Roger Repoz - TTM card

25. Jason Castro - IP card from 2012 era

26. Trevor Cahill - IP card from the 2012 era

27. Steve Renko - TTM card

28. Jason Gurka - TTM card

29. Ken Oberkfell - TTM card

30. Rudy Meoli - TTM card

31. Terry Humphrey - TTM card

32. Ed Ott - TTM card

33. Tom Bradley - TTM card

34. Billy Cowan - TTM card

35. Eddie Fisher - TTM card

36. Jim Barr - TTM card

37. Don Robinson - TTM card

38. Jack Lazorko - TTM card

39. Paul Hartzell - TTM card

40. Mike Bielecki - TTM card

41. Jim Hibbs - TTM card

42. Bob Botz - TTM card

43. Ike Hampton - TTM card

44. Balor Moore - TTM card

45. Tom Griffin - TTM card

46. Doug Rau - TTM card

47. Richie Scheinblum - TTM card

48. Frank LaCorte - TTM card

49. Bob Sprout - TTM card

50. Jim Walewander - TTM card

51. Bill Grabarkewitz - TTM card

52. Dave Goltz - TTM card

53. Gary Lucas - TTM card

54. Ron Tingley - TTM card

55. George Hendrick - purchased card (s)

56. Bill Melton - TTM card

57. Steve Lubratich - TTM card

58. Syd O’Brien - TTM card

59. Jarrett Grube - TTM card

60. Ken Berry - TTM card

61. Bill Voss - TTM card

62. Dyar Miller - TTM card

63. Ed Halicki - TTM card

64. Billy Moran - TTM card

65. Rick Burleson - purchased card (s)

66. Bart Miadich - purchased card (s)

67. Rich Rodriguez - purchased card (s)

68. Skip Lockwood - TTM card

69. Leo Burke - TTM card

70. Bob Duliba - TTM card

71. Sherman Corbett - TTM card

72. Tom Murphy - TTM card (s)

73. Vic Davalillo autographed custom card [$4 plus $1 PWE plus $0.99 = $5.99]

74. Jose Lind - purchased card (s)

75. Pete Coachman - purchased card (s)

76. Craig Gerber - purchased card (s)

77. Tim Fortugno - purchased card (s)

78. Lee Thomas - TTM card

79. Ken Tatum - TTM card

80. Dave Lemanczyk - TTM card

81. Chuck Dobson - TTM card

82. Dick Drago - TTM card

Maybe it’s ‘easier’ to have a looser goal where I can cobble things together where I’m not restricted by specifics or standards - being able to add a number of random autograph cards featuring rank-and-file guys that played for a random big league team may make me more like a hoarder, but it’s fun nonetheless to see what I can nerd out on as far whose random autographs I can find and add.

Trading cards are the easiest to store in any sort of quantity so for most of the ‘rank and file’ names, that what the autographs are on - for 2021, the goal to add more one-time Angels player autographs sticks though I need to dig deeper to see if I can add old-school / vintage player content, get the 'here and now' players, while adding different players as I can through TTM requests and purchases.