Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured autograph - Nolan Arenado

The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Winner signed one of the two cards after a Colorado Rockies @ San Diego Padres game on Monday - already a highlight reel defender at third base, it will be interesting to see how Arenado's bat develops in the next few years.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Featured autographs - Mark Prior

I was at a minor league game in Lake Elsinore California and after I woke up from my slumber during the game [it was a long afternoon getting to Lake Elsinore from Orange County] - I wandered around the concourse and took a peek down to where the scouts and maybe pitchers who chart during the game sit in the stands.

I saw the back of a guy who I assumed to be Prior and dug out my cards and put them on a page - in-between innings, I got the former phenom and Cubs ace to sign.

Friday, April 11, 2014

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen value pack recap

New baseball card product gives me an excuse to go out and check out either a hobby shop or stop at a big box store - I was looking for a blaster but all I could immediately see where these, so I broke down and picked up a pack.

Framed parallel pack
#232 Pablo Sandoval
#59 Wilmer Flores
#3 Robin Yount

Pack one
#225 Nolan Ryan
#163 Carlos Gomez
#295 Eddie Murray
#N174-MC Miguel Cabrera
- N174 insert
#261 Joe Morgan - mini parallel
#182 Peter Bourjos

Pack two
#43 Juan Marichal
#61 Tony Cingrani
#29 Ralph Kiner
#146 Kendrys Morales

#328 Willie Mays - mini red border parallel serial #'d 25/99; has some white on the bottom left, doh.
#279 Chris Tillman

Pack three
#178 Jose Altuve
#227 Chris Davis
#123 Felix Hernandez
#DA-GM Greg Maddux - Dealing Aces insert
#127 Kyle Gibson - mini parallel
#94 Matt Cain

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2001 Topps Stadium Club Mike Sweeney #126

Sweeney's face is obscured and he is contorted in sort of an odd way that the action happening is facing away [for a lack of a better way to describe what is going on] - but I kind of like the card because it captures a relatively large man leaping nimbly to snare a line drive hit towards his direction.

I assume Sweeney was a little more athletic and flexible in he hit his prime - where he was putting up numbers and establishing his MLB career as slugger.

It is what it is, but it's hard to believe that it's a 13 year old card I rescued from a quarter box - it's a relatively modern looking card, with generally sharp photography and a slick, glossy surface.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Featured autograph - Rick Waits

I dug around through some monster boxes at my LCS to find cards to get signed in-person before a Seattle Mariners @ Angels game - I consider Waits the 'anti Van Slyke,' since I got the Seattle Mariners pitching coach's attention and after looking for a way to sign my cards without me having to launch my autograph book towards him over the dugout, he came over to the camera well and signed without a problem.

Waits pitched in the Major Leagues from 1973-1985 and while he wasn't great [79-92 won-loss record], he hung around for 12 years - I usually laugh and scoff at the cards of rank-and-file guys, but there are players [maybe lefthanders since they tend to hang around even past their primes] whose careers are a trip.

Even though I might not have been around [literally] to follow their Waits' career first-hand - having his cards and doing a little research makes me think about what he did as a professional baseball player.

One of the cards he signed was his 1985 Fleer [which shows him at Anaheim Stadium] and while it's not a big deal - it's ironic I got him to sign where he was pictured on the card, even though the stadium is now called Angel Stadium and the place has probably gone through a bunch of cosmetic changes since 1984.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Autograph card fails - Willie Bloomquist

I probably didn't take the moment I needed to make sure the autograph on the card had dried before closing my book - so I end up with this beauty of a signed card.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Featured card - 2013 Bowman Chrome Blue refractor mini Jose Fernandez

I probably overpaid for this card [numbered to 99, though that doesn't sound as 'limited' as it once did maybe years ago] and it was strictly an impulse purchase - I think the card from the 2013 Bowman Chrome mini boxed set, which was kind of a test issue [that only really came out a few months ago] with a seemingly high-end price tag [over $200].


I found myself at an Seattle Mariners / Angels game last Tuesday night since there was another Mike Trout bobblehead giveaway - I wanted to get Andy Van Slyke's autograph, who is one of the new Mariners coaches this season.

Before the game, I actually saw him down the first base line, signing for some kids [they probably didn't know who he was, but that's beside the point] - however when I showed him my cards, he mumbled he didn't have time and walked away.

I felt kind of stupid, since he then went over by the expensive box seats next to the field to sign for a few more kids and one of the seemingly rare female collectors - it bummed me out since I was looking to get a card or two signed.

I thought he was an affable 'fan favorite' who might not have been one of the best players in his time, but was a slick defensive center fielder and a good quote - the way he blew me off makes me thinks twice about my preconceived notions about professional athletes, active and retired.

Admittedly, I did get Van Slyke's autograph at least once at some golf tournament years ago - however, whenever his name was randomly mentioned, I haven't heard good stories about him signing, so perhaps over the years, he just doesn't like seeing collectors.