Saturday, December 09, 2017

Featured autograph - Billy Eppler

I was able to get the Angels general manager's autograph in spring training this past year on a blank card - there is a bit of schadenfreude, when Eppler may have closed the deal to snatch Shohei Ohtani away from the hands of other prospective suitors, particularly the Seattle Mariners.

I don't know if the narrative of Ohtani's motivations to join the Halos have been exactly spelled out - but reading the screenshot above, there is a little 'what if' for disappointed Mariners fans, when considering the screenshot from 2015.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Andruw Jones - a borderline HOFer?

I have this 1995 Bowman rookie card [#23] in a miscellaneous binder and I recoil whenever I see it - I remember buying it for something like $30 at the 2000 National Sports Collectors Convention and thought it was going to be a 'money card' of a superstar for years to come.

Maybe card values of any number of random cards probably declined over the past 20 years as players come in and out of collectors' consciousness - but Jones accelerated the dip in values by how his playing career fell apart after leaving the Atlanta Braves.

He got fat when he joined the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2008 season and then bounced around for years - even playing in Japan for two seasons before wrapping up his playing career.

After the fact, the most interesting thing is that Jones was probably the best center fielder of his generation and may actually have an argument that he's one of the best to play his primary position of all time - this Sports Illustrated story spells out the idea that he's unlikely to get to the Hall of Fame, but pores over his numerous achievements as well as his decline.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Kevin Maitan - all things considered

As an Angels fan, the addition of Maitan is a nice pickup since he's only 17 and was the most intriguing prospect heading into this past year - the Angels' farm system has been depressed for a while and hopefully Maitan starts building on his promise, giving the Angels a nice little core of position player prospects [along with Jo Adell, Jahmai Jones, Brandon Marsh] to build upon the next few seasons.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Featured autograph - Brad Peacock

Peacock was part of the Houston Astros World Series team this past year and while he didn't pitch well in his outings during the American League Division and Championship Series - he appeared in 4 games during the World Series and struck out 8 batters while allowed 2 runs in 7 innings.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017 collecting topics achievements

I've tallied up all my mini-collection adds for this year - from 2016, it looks like I've picked up 202 less cards, though with a month to go, the numbers are subject to change

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 Topps retail factory set pick-up

During a stop at Target, I was looking through the usual Topps factory sets on the shelves and got one with the 1997 Topps Derek Jeter reprint relic card with a pinstripe swatch - I bought a factory set last year at Walmart because it had a Mike Trout stamp card and now Topps got me again with this impulsive purchase.

I was hoping to find a reprint of Jeter's 1993 Topps card, but the 1997 Topps card has a nice image - though these factory set may be mass produced to a point where they aren't going to be hard to find, these could be something to put away because of the Jeter factor.

FWIW, I might have seen something on Twitter about the factory set cards being marked ‘complete set' on the backs to differentiate itself from the regular cards - if I wanted to pick up a complete factory set, I wouldn't want a completely different set over the cards I'd pull out out of packs.

I didn’t know if the marking was indeed something Topps had started doing, but after finding this thread on the Trading Card Database - I see, it’s just the 5-card rookie image variations that are designated and not the 700 cards from the base set.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Featured autograph - Mark Appel

Designated for assignment by the Philadelphia Phillies, Appel seems destined to be a first round pick who maybe a failed prospect - still, as I see Appel as a baseball player who may not reach the big leagues, I'll always look at this clip as something to digest and really think about.