Sunday, March 19, 2023

Card show pickups - Angels material

Off a seller, these are [dollar] Angel cards are ones I ended up making keepers - maybe I'm content to squirrel a few Angels here and there into my card show pile depending on the player and type of card, but even if I don't have them, I get picky just adding random Angels cards left and right.

I don't think I've ever had a Erstad 1996 Upper Deck SP RC #4 [which may have been special for a little bit when he was a top prospect] - Erstad's big league totals ended up being rather modest for a No. 1 overall pick, but he fit the mold of a 100 percent player / zero percent BS type fans ate up.

Maybe my favorite non-RC Mike Trout ends up being his 2016 Topps #1 and the version I picked up looks to be a Rainbow Foil parallel - I'm not focused enough to seek out a rainbow for a specific player or from a specific year, I might be on the look out for as many versions of the Trout when available.

I ended up picking up a 1969 Topps Hoyt Wilhelm for my 'all-time team register' collection last year but the no-team airbrushed cap doesn't make the card the most attractive - this 1969 Topps Decals Wilhelm actually has the Angels logo plastered on the cap, so it ends up popping a little more [even though it's not really a traditional trading card].

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Card show pickups - shiny Panini

Off a seller, these [dollar] cards are ones I might have left in his box back in January, but might have had another chance to flag down when I saw the person again - I'm not on that unlicensed baseball kick outright, but a serial #'d parallel and/or a shiny parallel might give my loose card pile [I'm building] a breath of fresh air as probable binder material [for a star like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or a recently retired great like Yadier Molina].

I think the Bryan Reynolds is my favorite as it looked pretty special on first glance - even though I found a different version of the parallel [probably serial #'d to a lower amount] I had no interest in making a keeper for $5.

I don't actively collect Reynolds, but I can imagine him being a higher profile star once he moves on from the Pittsburgh [Pirates] - with his contract status kind of up in the air [where he wants to be paid], maybe a non-MLB licensed card is more of an ideal find [where some guys end up mercenaries].

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Card show pickups - Manny Ramirez

'Manny' is an 'iffy' guy to collect in the 'here and now,' where I wouldn't know what to do with his miscellaneous cards long enough after he stopped playing - but he was a great, fun player to watch [as a phenom in Cleveland, a superstar in Boston in his prime and playing the starring role in the Mannywood show with the Dodgers], so I snuck in some cards that caught my eye in the '3 for 1' card show brick I was building.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Some mini-collection odds and ends

Maybe I was feeling idle, so I wanted to see if I can knock out some scratch the itch cards - nothing high brow, but maybe a mix of cards that hit some of my mini-collection needs.

Trying to go through my memory banks, a flagged cards folder on my phone, my eBay watchlist, my blog Top 10 and saved TTM fuel images to round up random cards to hunt for - having my possible wants material in scattered formats ends up leaving me feeling a little messy.

I found a seller online I was willing to buy around 20 cards from, but then past $1.99, shipping was going to be around $7 - maybe there was no budget option despite saying so otherwise on the seller's postage chart, so after spending about an hour crafting up a probable 'buy list,' I ended up throwing my hands up in the air.

I ended up cutting the number to the bare minimum that would ship for $1.99 - where I wanted the following cards in-hand and committed to picking them up for a little over $0.50 each.

1988 Colorado Springs Sky Sox CMC Jeff Kaiser #4 - Awesome action; Oddities - I love how a pitcher is all dressed up in catchers' gear, mugging it up for the photographer.

2007 Upper Deck Gary Matthews Jr. #225 - Awesome outfield action - I've wanted this card because it captures his greatest play in his pro baseball career and probably helped put him on a lot of people's minds, where he had kind of just moved from team-to-team.

1994 Fleer Update Rico Brogna #U156 - Broken bat shots - I found this while trying to scan through someone selling cards on Twitter; at times, I find mini-collection cards by just digging through card images others have posted.

1993 Milk-Bone Super Stars Dog Food Issue Will Clark #7 - Facial hair - I fall under being a 'junk wax guy,' but for all the Clark cards I've seen, there might only be a couple that features a stache on The Thrill.

1991 Topps Woolworth Baseball Highlights Bert Blyleven #7 - Inking it up - I had to have this card featuring a player in the twilight of his big league career, taking the time to sign autographs; the copy I received looks like it might hava burn mark, so it might be a filler copy for now.

1990 ProCards A and AA Darrin Chapin #19 - Pitchers hitting - I guess he's not actually hitting, as much as he's posing with a bat in his hand, but it's kind of an odd image I end up counting.

Thursday, March 09, 2023

2023 Topps oversized box toppers pickups

I was watching a YouTuber go through some of newest hauls and he showed off one of these cards - I didn't know what they were, but they are apparently bonus cards in 2021 Topps Series 1 jumbo boxes.
I ended up doing some browsing on eBay and ended up putting a bid and winning an Ichiro card from the set - regardless of the other players on the checklist, I can't go wrong with this all-time fan favorite.

The fronts are very generic and make me think these cards are MLB team issued cards from the 1970s or 1980s perhaps - though that is how the originals might have looked.

I'm not that collector who nitpicks at how faithful the details are replicated - when it comes to modern cards mimicking past designs.

I do like how Topps made good use of the colors on the back of the cards - where it's not as sleepy as the fronts.

Besides a copy of the Ichiro, it was kind of a no brainer to look for the Angels on the checklist - which ends up being Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout obviously.
In-hand, the cards end up being smaller [3.5 x 5 inch] than I assumed, but larger than a regular sized card - for the most part I want regular sized cards, though I may have to make exceptions for odd-sized stuff like these box toppers.

Friday, March 03, 2023

TTM autographs received: Jack Brohamer

The former big league second baseman is apparently the only player in the game's history to hit a home run wearing uniform shorts - he signed my cards in a couple of months and included a card printed with his name and a Bible verse.

I think he ended up as a 'scratch the itch' TTM guy, where I had a random card of his to send out and ended up with one more - however he had apparently moved where there were no new address available in the meantime, so I waited until other collectors started reporting new successes with an updated working address.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

2023 Topps team runs completed

One of the loose card projects I work on is trying to get a flagship Topps card from all the MLB teams over the past 45 years - that may only run from 1978 onward, but I'm looking at over 40 years and it's a perpetual work in progress to fill holes, where I would like to get all the cards I need.

When opening a Topps flagship blaster in previous year, maybe I wanted to be able to complete a current year run within that one box - but the choices in-hand don't always end up inspiring and I might have held off on a team spot in case there was a card in Series 2 I wanted to use or maybe a Series 1 card I didn't pull.

I had a hobby box of Topps Series 1 to work with this year and except for potential Series 2 cards - I wouldn't have a problem finishing off this year's run.

Best players or seat fillers [?] - I don’t want to always use the more obvious stars or superstars, where a personal rule is only being able to use a player three times for a team's entire run.

I want to highlight either a breakout or underrated player and in most cases, will defer to using notable players - especially if they were the story for a particular year and I have the card for them.

Considering considering cards for my Topps team runs collection - maybe the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks left me wondering if I actually had the cards to pick from.

I could have used a Michael Harris RC for the Braves - but that is going into my award winners collection, where it's my first card of the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year.

I ended up going with a card of Raisel Iglesias - who hasn't really been a Braves' player for that long, but might be counted on to be the team's closer this upcoming season.

I could have used an Adley Rutschman (RC) for the Orioles, but I want to keep that card around as a 'single' or maybe a binder material centerpiece - even though there are probably a million of the cards printed where it's worth $5 rather than $25.

For the Orioles, I ended up using the rookie card of Gunnar Henderson - maybe it's a little fast forward thinking, where he hasn't done anything yet, but Henderson is the No.1 prospect in the game and his rookie teases a nice 'dirt fetish' at-bat shot.

For the Diamondbacks, I didn't want to use another Merrill Kelly or Ketel Marte, so I went with Josh Rojas - not quite an inspiring player, but he had a decent year in 2022.

#17 Shohei Ohtani - Angels
#181 Yordan Alvarez - Astros
#153 Kevin Gausman - Blue Jays
#115 Raisel Iglesias - Braves
#60 Josh Rojas - Diamondbacks
#257 Yadiel Hernandez - Expos / Nationals
#262 Camilo Doval - Giants
#116 Steven Kwan - Indians / Guardians
#330 Julio Rodriguez - Mariners
#206 Gunnar Henderson - Orioles
#279 Yu Darvish - Padres
#314 Ke'Bryan Hayes - Pirates
#124 Nathaniel Lowe - Rangers
#227 Yandy Diaz - Rays
#11 Rafael Devers - Red Sox
#33 Kyle Farmer - Reds
#122 Yonathan Daza - Rockies
#7 Bobby Witt Jr. - Royals
#62 Aaron Judge - Yankees
#6 Paul Blackburn - Athletics
#109 Eric Lauer - Brewers
#5 Albert Pujols - Cardinals
#54 Marcus Stroman - Cubs
#50 Mookie Betts - Dodgers
#107 Sandy Alcantara - Marlins
#21 Max Scherzer - Mets
#293 J.T. Realmuto - Phillies
#74 Tarik Skubal - Tigers
#25 Byron Buxton - Twins
#132 Gavin Sheets - White Sox; #53 Dylan Cease - White Sox

Friday, February 24, 2023

2023 Topps Series 1 hit - James Outman auto

Go figure, I finally get lured by a mass email to finally buy something through Larry Fritsch Cards, which was a hobby box of 2023 Topps - maybe I was worried about not getting their print catalogs again, but I know I'm still on their mailing list and browsing through the actual catalog goes over my head real fast.

While flagship Topps is pretty basic, there is a curiosity to see what the new cards are about for the current year - maybe blasters are $25 now, so to change things up, a lone hobby box [rather 3-4 blasters for the year perhaps] might have been a viable purchase for now.

Admittedly, there is no tradition where I bust a personal box of anything each year, though there might be a curiosity to be able to do so - especially a hobby version of flagship Topps, where I'm hoping on that slim chance to pull something nicer, something unexpected.

Bracing myself for some one color relic action of a minor star or rank and file guy, I was glad my hit was an autograph - Outman is unfamiliar to me, but coming up through the rich Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, he has put up numbers and might be a serviceable big leaguer for the next 5-10 years.

My card was apparently the black parallel of the 1988 Topps Baseball autographs inserts - my copy was serial #'d 099/199.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Featured autograph - Matt Moore

I picked this up because he was just signed by the Angels and figure a cheap certified autograph would be an easy add to my all-time autograph collection - I don’t remember whether I got him in-person during his young hotshot years as a starting pitcher Tampa Bay Rays.

Maybe it's better to have a random certified autograph to file away than to dig for an autograph I might not have at all - I looked up my memory banks and in 2012, it looks like I was able to get him in-person on an 8x10 print after being denied the previous day because he was tagging along with Evan Longoria.

Friday, February 17, 2023

TTM autographs received: Todd Zeile

I got a response from a request I sent to the former big at the end of October 2022 - I wasn't sure if he really signed TTM [maybe he was locked up with an autograph middleman or promoter], but took a chance of sending since he had a 1990 Leaf I wanted inked up.

Zeile was a hot prospect for a moment in the middle of the junk wax era, but never really ascended to that perennial all-star performer level - he ended up a being a perfectly competent player who bounced around different teams in the middle of his career, where you can plug and play him on a short term basis.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

TTM autographs received: Ross Baumgarten

The former big league lefty signed my cards in about three weeks - for most part, it doesn't matter as long as I get a card inked up, but it is noticeable in-hand where sometimes an autograph signed on a card [1981 Donruss] ends up kind of bleeding into the darker or more cluttered image used.

Maybe the card was signed as it was, where there were no obvious blemishes or smears - but it just doesn't stand out.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Panini redemption mail result from 2014

I had a bubble mailer dropped off in front of the door and since I haven't bought anything lately, I figured it had to be a redemption - why was the package dropped off where it was, instead of inside the mail box?

Inside was an 2021 Panini Prizm Rookie Autograph Silver Prizm Isaac Paredes Auto No.RA.AP - there was a preprinted note saying the card was a replacement for a redemption that could not be fulfilled.

My first guess was this was for a Garrett Crochet auto redemption from last year, which I didn't see listed under open/closed ticket status, when I reset my password to log into Panini’s Web site - I couldn't see whether it was for that redemption, though the Paredes was from a different Panini brand.

I wondered if it was for a 2013 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Brian Navarreto auto redemption from this blaster break - I scanned through some e-mails and last year, there was something from Panini that said any lower end redemptions still open entered through 2017 would basically be closed and there would be something of equal value sent out.

On the bubble mailer, there was a sticker label actually covering the ticket number and go figure, I was able to match it with my Navarreto redemption listed in my account on the Panini Web site - it only took 10 years to finally get something back, but I don't have to wonder whatever happened to the $2 autograph card I was promised.

The April 2022 trade that sent Paredes from the Detroit [Tigers] to the Tampa Bay [Rays] for Austin Meadows was panned, but Meadows just had a lost season with various ailments - Paredes only hit .205 last year, but his ability to walk and hit for pop made him a useful player with a 114 OPS +.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

TTM autographs received: Paul Wilson

The former pitcher signed my cards in about three weeks, including a 2004 Upper Deck Team USA 25th Anniversary - I've made it a micro-mini mission to get scattered cards from the set signed for the past 20 years.

Wilson was once a top pitching prospect for the New York Mets in the mid 1990s [Generation K, along with Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen] - I'm not sure if I remember having any of Wilson's cards and/or really being aware of the hype as part of the next big thing in Major League Baseball, but I know he was pictured in at least a couple baseball boxes [1996 Bowman and 1996 Fleer Update].

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

TTM autograph received: Ted Bowsfield

I found this vintage Topps card off a card show rummage and checked if the one-time expansion Los Angeles Angel was still able to sign TTM - I sent it off and got a response in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

TTM autographs received: Bobby Richardson

The former New York Yankees second baseman signed my cards in 10 days - I found a 1961 Nu-Card Scoops card off a card show rummage and thought it might great to send out, though I assume it's a reprint.

I found some other cards and sent it off, though I kept thinking I had a card I was sitting on at first - maybe it was a card of Tony Kubek instead, but after I'd mailed off my request, found that one other Richardson card- which I didn't realize was a 1993 Upper Deck B.A.T. Triple-Folders, folded so it could fit a penny sleeve.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Latest The Angels, In Order goodies

I got a PWE in the mail from The Angels, In Order's latest trade giveaway post - after claiming free cards from the last two occasions, I need to dig around to send something back for Tom.
I collect primarily baseball, but just to be on these no-context side missions, I might free myself to pick up odder non-sport cards that end up falling into my lap - while this card didn't catch my eye immediately, it is a topical card every January when Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday comes around.
This card was unfamiliar enough to put a claim on despite the subject pictured - Vizquel was probably headed to Cooperstown as an already polarizing candidate, whose reputation as a fan favorite and defensive whiz at shortstop far exceeded any objective fielding or hitting numbers.

However, Vizquel's personal problems and other mishaps of his own doing - have likely torpedoed any serious opportunities to sneak into the Hall of Fame.

Like the King claim, this kind of represents a card that is something a little different besides the pictures of ballplayers I collect - Bieber is millenial pop star from the past 15 years that ends up being an unwilling paparazzi magnet.
An odd-size [mini], I claimed this to remind myself how much Torii Hunter was a personal fan favorite as an Angel - I don't think he gets any sort of serious Hall of Fame consideration, but maybe I can see where I end up favoring his career over Andruw Jones [who might not end up a Hall of Famer in reality, but has gotten support for the way he played center field in his prime].
I may have been scrolling from the last sheet on the bottom to the top and might have not claimed this Reggie card - if I hadn't punted on a couple of other cards I'd picked out at first.
I claimed this card thinking it was another broken bat shot I can add to my mini-collections - however it turns out I have the card, so it could be a centerpiece card to a random Murray page if I get enough other cards together.
Unfortunately, this rookie year card of Mike Mussina didn't make it through transit for some reason - the same could be said for the cards below, but while the two others [Fred McGriff and Tom Seaver] end up 'bent,' the Mussina got bent and got creased.

For now, I've placed the McGriff and the Seaver in a semi-rigid plastic holder - to see if I straighten the cards out [or not].

This Seaver is a little odd where it looks like he is trying to hit some fungos - it's close enough where I'll add it to my pitchers hitting mini-collection.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

TTM autographs received: Joe Redfield

I was able to round up some cards and get the one-time big leaguer to sign in about a couple of months - maybe I saw a success posted with Redfield on an autograph forum and by chance, looked him up.

I saw he had made his big league debut with the 1988 California Angels - that spanned all of two hitless at-bats and 1 game.

Maybe as a pro baseball player, he was strictly a 4A guy - but put up some decent numbers in the minors and as a reward, got a cup of coffee for two big league teams.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Making myself at home at the card show

I was digging through a sellers discount box trying to figure out how many cards I'm going to stack in my keeper pile and maybe the seller's grandson was annoyed - "are you going to buy any of those cards?"

While it's kind of a do-or-die decision for me to come up with the cards I'm picking up - maybe I've been a little idle at the seller's table and I'm probably going to seem a little off, standing directly infront of a bored teenager [behind the table] for about 30-40 minutes.

It probably didn't help the teen didn't know any better and his grandfather was telling him about random people who might show interest in certain cards and kick the tires for a little bit - only to disappear for good.

In the end, I found my 'sweet spot' of finds - that end up not being worth more than what I paid in most cases, but fun to go through after the fact.
The shiny cards from the UV era of the mid 1990s onward tend to be nice to look at in-hand - but a chore to get a good picture of.
A hard to photograph, but shinyManny Ramirez insert - Manny ends up being an 'iffy' guy for me, where do I wonder about continuing to pick up his stray cards?

I think Manny was a force despite all his misgivings as a big league superstar and if a card is remotely interesting and/or 'pops' in a certain way - I may just have to make them keepers.

The rest of the best including some old-school rookies [Darryl Strawberry, Johnny Damon and Kerry Wood], a Team USA and a relic bat card of Nomar Garciaparra - along with a 1993 Topps Finest Tim Salmon, which isn't really a rookie or a rookie year card, but was in a first-year product during Salmon's rookie year.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

TTM autographs received: Kevin McReynolds

This is my first success of 2023, though the request was mailed out in last month - I realized McReynolds had both a 1984 Donruss and a 1990 Leaf, but sat on sending out a request for the longest time because I had to go out and grab those two set cards first.

I tried picking up a 1990 Leaf McReynolds several years ago, but I ended up being shipped a miscut copy, so that was a waste of time - I had found an early 1980s minor league team issue in a card show dollar boxes of doom, but wasn't going to send the card out [McReynolds charges a $5 fee to sign] without the two priorities.

At the end of 2022, I just made it a mission where I picked up the two set cards I needed, put a request together with the cool minor league card and finally sent off a request - even though I might have other loose McReynolds cards [from the junk wax era], I figure I have the cards I really want signed out of the way.

Tuesday, January 03, 2023

TTM autographs received: Al Oliver

This return is probably my success of 2022 just because I wasn't sure if it would make it back to me - after sending out a request last August, I kept waiting and wondering what had happened to my cards and the $20 I sent.

Because Oliver was a fee guy, I thought I would get a quicker response - but it wasn't until the end of December until I finally got my cards inked up.

Maybe it was kind of ironic that this was part of the mail held at the post office while I was out of the country - but it wasn't bundled with the other pieces of mail I got, but a straggler that might have been found a day or so later.